About communication safety in Messages

Messages now includes tools that warn children and provide helpful resources if they receive or attempt to send photos that may contain nudity.

Turn on communication safety to help protect your child from viewing or sharing photos that contain nudity in the Messages app. If Messages detects that a child receives or is attempting to send this type of photo, Messages blurs the photo before it’s viewed on your child’s device and provides guidance and age-appropriate resources to help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose. 

Messages uses on-device machine learning to analyze image attachments and determine if a photo appears to contain nudity. The feature is designed so that Apple doesn’t get access to the photos.

The communication safety feature requires iOS 15.2 or later, iPadOS 15.2 or later, or macOS Monterey 12.1 or later, and is available to child accounts signed in with their Apple ID and part of a Family Sharing group. This feature is off by default. 

Turn on communication safety in Screen Time settings

You can turn on communication safety at any time in Screen Time settings for your child’s account.  

  1. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Screen Time. On a Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Screen Time. (If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, use parental controls to turn it on.)
  2. Tap the name of a child in your family group. 
  3. Then tap Communication Safety, and tap Continue. 
  4. Turn on Check for Sensitive Photos. You may need to enter the Screen Time passcode for the device.
    iPhone Communication Safety Settings

You can turn off communication safety for your child at any time in Screen Time settings. 

If Messages detects an image that appears to contain nudity

If Messages determines that a photo your child has received or is about to send appears to contain nudity, it blurs the image, displays a warning that the photo may be sensitive, and offers ways to get help. 

Ways to get help

Messages offers the child several ways to get help—including leaving the conversation, blocking the contact, leaving a group message, and accessing online safety resources—and reassures the child that it’s okay if they don’t want to view the photo or continue the conversation. 

iPhone Messages Ways to get help options

Message someone they trust

As an additional precaution, the child has the option to message an adult that they trust about the photo. If the child is under 13, Messages prompts the child to start a conversation with their parent or guardians.

iPhone New Message to Mom and Dad

If the child chooses to view or send an image that contains nudity

If the child chooses to view or send the photo, Messages confirms that they’re sure they want to do so and suggests alternatives, again reassuring the child that it’s okay not to participate and that more help is available.

iPhone view sensitive photo confirmation screen




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